In case you haven’t noticed, Carl Icahn likes to talk. A lot. And he often takes a two-step approach to his communication — tweeting first, and then following up with a call into either CNBC or Bloomberg to discuss the thinking behind said tweet. In fact, he did it again today, releasing a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook and then taking to CNBC to discuss why the technology company needs to increase its stock buyback program to the tune of $150 billion.
To the astute — or perhaps jaded — Icahn follower, after a while all his activist campaigns sort of bleed into each other. Whether it is Dell, or Netflix, or Apple — or, back in the day, Time Warner, or Yahoo, or Lionsgate — it is almost as if Icahn works from the same script. Indeed, it seems as though you can basically build an activist-investor talking-points outline and substitute in certain names, numbers, and keywords to fit the particular campaign.
So without further ado, here’s the Carl Icahn activist-investor Mad Libs. Fill out and compare your campaign against Icahn’s next planned aggressive action against a publicly traded company. After all, it shouldn’t be too long before his next call to CNBC.
Mad Libs: The Carl Icahn Version
Today I bought [number] million shares of [name of company]. Had a(n) [adjective] conversation with the CEO about the [verb] of the company.
Clearly, [name of company] is undervalued and could use a [verb] to its performance. I mean, I think this is just a no-brainer. The management is acting [adjective] and the board, well, I’ve never [verb, past tense] anything like it before.
Well, maybe once before, when we got involved with [noun]. We got in there and we [verb, past tense] it up. We got in there and said, “We’re gonna [verb] onto this.” And what happened, the [noun] went up fivefold. Investors got [noun]. Everybody [verb, past tense].
When you look at [noun] company, it is basically the same [noun]. We just think it is [adverb] undervalued, and there are too many [noun, plural] protecting management from acting responsibly with its [noun].
Look, we have [number] of the best [plural noun] of any investors out there. We’re not going away. We’re in this for the [adjective] run. We’ve heard from several other [plural noun] in the company and they said they want us to [verb]. I can’t tell you who; they told it to me off the [noun]. But trust me, they hold [adjective] stakes in this company too.
I mean, people say that I’m a(n) [adjective] investor, but I don’t know what that means. This is really just [adjective] investing. Boards are not being held [adjective]. And [proper noun], I like him as a person. I found him to be very [adjective]. But he doesn’t know how to [verb] this company or its investors.
If you look at my blog or on my Twitter, you’ll see that this is something I feel [adverb] about. Corporate America has to stop [verb, ending in ‘ing’] on the little guy. If I can take a [noun] for the average [noun] because of my record and my position, then I’m going to do that.
As for Apple, our position [verb, ending in “s”] our belief that the market undervalues the company. Apple is the world’s greatest [noun], and I think CEO Tim Cook is doing a(n) [adjective] job. Still, I think a(n) [adjective] buyback should be done now. The board has no [adjective] right of Kings, and we would consider a proxy [verb] to get it to change things. This board is not above [verb, ending in “ing”]. I’ve told that to Tim and I’ll [verb] it again. The [plural noun] were undervalued when we bought into it, and they are [adjective] now.
If you look back on history, whoever [verb, ending in “s”] on the Establishment is a [verb, past tense] man. I’m a battle-hardened [noun] of [plural noun] markets. Boards need to be accountable, they aren’t [plural noun]. It is not fair that they spend all their [noun] playing golf and at [adjective] parties. Shareholder rights are always being [verb, past tense] on. Some men have died [verb, ending in “ing”] tyranny. The least we can do is [verb] against it.